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Sweden extends sentence for Uighur spy

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09:21 CEST+02:00
A Uighur previously convicted of passing information to China about other members of Sweden's Uighur community had his sentence prolonged by a Swedish appeals court Friday.

Swedish citizen Babur Maihesuti, who came to Sweden in 1997 as a political refugee, was originally convicted in March and sentenced to 16 months in prison.

On Friday, his sentence was extended to one year and 10 months in prison for illegal espionage activities, according to documents of the Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm.

The court said its ruling came after the prosecutor in the case had requested the sentence handed to Maihesuti by the lower court be extended.

Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Central Asian people residing in northwest China's Xinjiang region, have accused Beijing of decades of religious, cultural and political oppression.

The Stockholm district court found in March that Maihesuti had from January 2008 to June 2009 collected personal information about exiled Uighurs, including details on their health, travel and political involvement, and passed it on to Beijing.

The court ruled that the espionage was especially serious since Maihesuti had infiltrated the World Uighur Congress and the information passed on "could cause significant damage to Uighurs in and outside China."

The appeals court said Friday it agreed with the lower court's judgment but wanted the sentence to be extended.

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